Five Slat Message Board #1

Should automatons do work?  I think so, at least some of the time.  The Five Slat Message Board is designed to display a three-segment message.  In this case:

Humans Need
1.6 Earth
to be in Ecological Balance

The biped pedals, which causes two large diameter internal toothed gears to turn, the motion of which causes the message board to advance its slats.

This automaton is powered by an electric motor and has an integral proximity sensor.




Five Slat Message Board #1 is completed August 4, 2021

Auger Lift #1
a marble run automaton

Auger Lift #1 is a relaxing automaton.  The biped calmly pedals, which turns an auger, which lifts marbles to the top of a short, calm marble run.  This automaton is powered by an electric motor and utilizes an external proximity sensor to turn it on and off.



Auger Lift #1 is completed. 46.5 hours on its clock. 5 February 2021

Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner
a product spinning automaton

The delightful Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner is the 3rd design in the ‘product spinning’ series of automata that I am creating.  A biped steps on levers, which in turn drive a chain that incrementally rotates a 4-1/2″ display platform.  The display platform is designed to hold a bottle or a can. The ‘product spinning’ series of automata are to be rented into customer-facing environments, such as a counter in a retail store, and are responsible for the display of products of special interest or focus.

Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1. Completed September 15, 2020

a product spinning automaton

The eye-catching product spinning Peddler is the 2nd design in the product spinning series of automata that I am creating.  With a stationary lower base, a biped waves and pedals the upper base in circles, which in turn causes a 9” display platform to counter-rotate. The display platform is designed to hold and call attention to larger-small items, such as jewelry, pastries, confections, art, sunglasses, watches, books, cards, drugs, electronic devices, etc.

The Project Sheet is here. 
View Peddler #1 on YouTube
View Sales Detail page

Product spinning Peddler #1 is completed July 11, 2020

Two Tier
a product spinning automaton

The appealing Two Tier is the 1st design in the product spinning series of automata that I am creating.  A biped works-out by both pedaling and pulling levers.  As a result of his work-out two product display tables and one flag pennant are caused to rotate.  The product display tables are intended to hold products for display.  The two tables rotate counter to each other at different speeds.  This automata would be used in a customer-facing situation, such as the counter of a retail store, to call attention and focus to certain products or items.


The Two Tier Project Sheet is here.
View Two Tier on YouTube.
View Sales Detail page.

Two Tier #1, a product spinning automata

Surfer #1

This energetic little surfer is the result of a ‘two-week construction’ challenge that I gave myself.  The surfboard is mounted on three moving shafts.  As the handle is turned the surfboard moves randomly,  as if skimming over the waves,  The surfer’s feet move on the surfboard as he keeps his balance.

The Surfer #1 Project Sheet is here.
View Surfer #1 on YouTube.
The Sales Detail page is here.



Surfer #1 was completed April 2, 2020.

Big Wheel Lift #1

Big Wheel Lift #1 seems to easily capture the attention of passers-by. One of the ‘Jim’s Gym’ series of automata, a biped is exercising by pedaling and pulling levers.  This motion in turn causes a big wheel to lift marbles from the bottom to the top, where they drop onto a track and roll back to the bottom.  Lot’s of color and motion and interesting noises.  Magnetic shock absorbers.  This is a fun one.

The Big Wheel Lift #1 Project Sheet is here.
View Big Wheel Lift #1 on YouTube
View the Sales Details page here.

Big Wheel Lift #1. Completed July 9, 2019.

Scissor Lift #2

  • Created between August 2018 and August 2019.
  • Hand cranked.  No motor available.
  • Scissor Lift #2 is in stock and available for purchase.  $1500.
  • The  Scissor Lift #2 Project Sheet is here .
Scissor Lift #2 finally has it’s biped!

Scissor Lift #1

The first of the ‘Jim’s Gym’ series of automata, this active little automata is a pleasure to operate and to watch.  As the crank is turned the biped raises and lowers handles which, thru a scissor like mechanism, in turn raise marbles to the top of the automata.  Powered by gravity the marbles then descend back to the bottom where they arrange themselves and prepare for another trip.

Here is a link to the Scissor Lift #1  Project Sheet
Here is a link to the Scissor Lift Sales Details page.
View Scissor Lift #1 on YouTube.

Scissor Lift #1 created February – July 2018.

Electric Chair #1

  • Conceived October 2019
  • This is on my workbench, along with Inclined Slide #1
  • 3/25/2020:  I’ve got this automata almost completely constructed.  The next steps are disassembly for paint, then reassembly and the addition of many little details.  It’s been active on my bench for over four months.  I’m taking a breather from it.
  • August 10, 2020:  This automata proved to be too negative to me.  And the world right now does not need more negativity.  I’ve scrapped Electric Chair #1.  Bye-bye.
  • Here is a link to the Electric Chair #1  Project Sheet
Electric Chair #1: the build is almost complete. Next comes disassembly and paint.

A Sunday Drive

  • Into the trash on 28 August 2019.
  • Conceived in 2017.
  • Onto my workbench March 2019.  Off my workbench August 2019.
  • This automata is a 1/1 and will be for sale, perhaps by the end of 2019.
  • This automata will be motor driven.
  • August 28, 2019:  Onto the trash heap.  Bye-bye.
  • Here is a link to the A Sunday Drive Project Sheet.
A Sunday Drive: two major assemblies.

Misty, a 20 Pipe Street Organ

  • Hand built by Jim to a John Smith design.
  • Completed in the last quarter of 2016.
  • As of 3/20/2019 Misty has had her handle cranked more than 1,000,000 times.
  • Monte the Monkey was an important addition to the organ, and a reason that Jim has begun creating automata.
Misty, a 20 pipe street organ